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Mars in Cancer ~ August 3 to September 18, 2011

Water Ice on Mars © NASA

Mars leaves curious Gemini for sensitive Cancer. Mars governs our aggression, self-assertion, physical activities, and passions. In Gemini, he is an eager, fast-moving multi-tasker. In Cancer, Mars is conscientious, motivated to satisfy the needs of others, and protect those who are dear to us. Mars' anger is slow to burn in Cancer, but once expressed, his anger can be as destructive as a tidal wave.

Mars in Cancer reminds us that actions to the benefit another or others are honorable and should not be seen as a weakness. It is far more difficult and requires more inner strength to become vulnerable enough to let others/another know that we care...that we care enough to put their needs about ours. Mars in Cancer is also more subtle in his ways. There's no need to bulldoze our ideas or desires if the desired results can be done more quietly and amiably. At best, Mars in Cancer is protective, sympathetic, and understanding. At worst, passive, overemotional, and clingy.

Mars enters Cancer on August 3 at 2:22 a.m. PDT / 5:22 a.m. EDT and will stay through September 18th. On the day Mars enters Cancer, Mercury will have just begun retrograde motion. When a planet is retrograde, our focus turn inward. Between Mars in reserved Cancer and four celestial bodies retrograde (Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto & Chiron), the month of August may be more introspective this year than usual.

Those who have Mars in Cancer natally will have their Mars Return during this period. Mars Return occurs approximately every two years, and is usually an ideal time to make movements on future plans or take action on shorter-term goals. Look to the house placement and natal aspects to your natal Mars to get an idea of what may be highlighted/triggered during your Mars Return. Some people find this period ideal for making career-related plans. With Mercury retrograde, some may find that desired results may be slow to come despite the hard work put in or perhaps extra obstacles or delays push back plans, especially those with natal Mars between 0° and 16° of Cancer. Instead of being frustrated or impatient, remember that the universe also has its own timing and there may be a reason for the delay that your conscious mind cannot quite grasp. Remember to listen to your intuitive self. Reflection can lead to insight that may be of help in find solutions to blockages, delays, or obstacles.

How might Mars' transit in Cancer manifest in your world? Look to the Cancer-ruled house/s in your birth chart. Match the sign with the house cusp/s on your birth chart. Use the list of zodiac sign below to identify the Cancer zodiac sign on your birth chart then click here for an explanation of Mars transiting those solar and/or natal houses.

zodiac signs

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For those without a birth chart, you may use your Sun sign or Rising/Ascendant sign, if you know it. Look for your Sun and/or Rising Sign below then click here for an explanation of Mars transiting those solar and/or natal houses.
  • Aries-Sun or Aries Rising ~ 4th House
  • Taurus-Sun or Taurus Rising ~ 3rd House
  • Gemini-Sun or Gemini-Rising ~ 2nd House
  • Cancer-Sun or Cancer-Rising ~ 1st House
  • Leo-Sun or Leo-Rising ~ 12th House
  • Virgo-Sun or Virgo-Rising ~ 11th House
  • Libra-Sun or Libra-Rising ~ 10th House
  • Scorpio-Sun or Scorpio-Rising ~ 9th House
  • Sagittarius-Sun or Sagittarius-Rising ~ 8th House
  • Capricorn-Sun or Capricorn-Rising ~ 7th House
  • Aquarius-Sun or Aquarius-Rising ~ 6th House
  • Pisces-Sun or Pisces-Rising ~ 5th House

Alternatively, you may cast your own birth chart at for use as reference -- birth date, time, and place required.

Are you celebrating a birthday? Schedule a session for a Mars Return (if you have Mars in Cancer natally), Solar Return (birthdays) or 3-Chart Package Reading (detailed natal & overall outlook for the next 12 months). Or you might consider giving a loved one the gift of insight.

What significance do planets, signs, and houses have in astrology? Planets have the function, the job to do. The style/manner they will use get that job done is defined by the zodiac sign they occupy. Where in our life the job gets done is determined by the house the planet occupies/transits. So, when Mars (aggression) is in Aries (bold), he is more assertive than when he is in Cancer (sensitive). When traveling through the 10th house (professional life), he may bring his confidence and motivation in matters relating to our career. While in the 11th house (friendships), we may be more inclined to having our social calendar packed with activities. Having the foresight for what may be coming up or receiving confirmation on what may be happening now are ways astrology can be beneficial ... as above, so below.

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Water Ice on Mars © NASA

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